Do you remember?
Classic ERP systems (such as SAP or Salesforce) were used for years to manage and automate business processes. As a result, such a system is (almost) never standalone. It's connected to other software applications, like HRM, the online store, reports, and nowadays, even robotics or data analysis.
Traditionally, the ERP system was your 'core package.' It supported all departments and core processes for many years. That was feasible twenty or thirty years ago because companies and their markets didn't change so rapidly. However, this is completely different nowadays. Companies and organizations need to move in sync with market developments. They're becoming more flexible and embracing more agile work methods. Ideally, you'd want your ERP tasks to align with this as well. You'll likely want to organize them slightly differently now or in two years.
Time for Agile ERP
This can be achieved with modern technology by no longer making your business control dependent on a rather static ERP system. With a modern digital business platform, you can centrally organize and integrate all business processes. This way, you can create an agile form of ERP and develop and adapt components step by step as needed. The environment can continue to evolve organically, but you do need to keep giving it attention. This is very different from establishing a core system and mainly maintaining it for 10 or 15 years.
The old approach might sound straightforward, but the complex development task also led to many failed implementations, limited capabilities, user frustration, and dependence on vendors and costly consultants. The modern approach offers more flexibility, freedom, and new possibilities.
A modern digital business platform is also the ideal foundation for advanced optimization through hyperautomation. In other words, automating as many relevant business processes as possible using technologies that work harmoniously together. Essentially, this is what we used to dream that 'the ERP system' could do. Now, it's possible through the collaboration of Business Process Management (BPM) with technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI). It depends on what you need.
It's much more than just a technical implementation. Success mainly depends on connecting people, processes, and technology. Especially by involving people in the development and fostering a culture of continuous improvement. Using purposeful technology that aids your people and processes and working agilely where it adds value.
The beauty of Agile ERP is that it can grow and be adapted gradually. This makes it manageable and ensures that everyone quickly experiences the initial benefits. The exact advantages and the specific approach will, of course, vary from one organization to another.
A notable practical example can be seen with COFCO, an international agricultural enterprise. Nimble created a user-friendly digital platform that enables users to manage many processes from a single dashboard. This resulted in a vastly improved customer experience, a 50% reduction in lead times (even a 60% reduction in process time), and a massive decrease in process-related emails (90% fewer!). Read more about this example here.